If you missed the first two parts of this series, you can read it at these links:
NOTE – Crashplan is reported to be discontinuing support for individuals and is focusing on corporate customers. – updated 11/26/2017
At this point in the saga, my computer’s hard drive has been repaired and I have restored a number of files including all of my music. Now the rest of the story…
I was more nervous about my photographs. These are very important to me as they go back years and hold so much history as well as much of my work from my photography hobby. A couple of days later, I worked up the courage and began the restore process overnight. Now I am a very conservative person in such matters so before I began to restore the encrypted files from the Crashplan (CP) backup drive, I copied the CP file to the new internal Mac hard drive so I had a backup of the backup; just in case. This isn’t so weird when you realize a good portion of your digital and/or recreational life resides on a small device represented by a series of bits and bytes!
I was pleased the next morning to learn that all my photographs had been saved and were safely restored. I now had to place them in the correct folders on the hard drive so they would be recognized by my photography software. This was not easy and I had to do some research along with trial-and-error, but I was successful. I was glad to learn that only a few of my most recent edits were missing. All my files and photographs appeared to be there. The edits and revisions can be recreated if needed.
I realize that I dodged a bullet and this situation could have been much worse.
***** Lessons Learned *****
- I was well aware and appreciated a need for a backup of my computer files because they represented important aspects of my life.
- I had taken several actions necessary to insure my files would be available if needed. I had two copies, one old, and one slightly old, of my most precious files – music and photographs.
- I did not ignore my need for a backup when my original backup failed. I used Crashplan to make a backup of my hard drive. It was free, it was time-consuming to configure, but it saved the day.
- I tested the recoverability of the files after I decided to use CP’s backup storage system to make sure it worked..and it did.
- I called support and interfaced with them via email to assure they would be attentive to my needs…and they were.
- I procrastinated too long in re-establishing my Time Machine backup system.
- As I understand it, this would have provided a plug-and-play solution for my problem and I would most likely not have had any data loss.
- I should have made a more recent, raw backup of all my data files so I wouldn’t lose any data. This was not critical, but annoying.
Overall Lessons Learned:
- Some of the missing files and data could be recovered by filtering emails to download certain documents and information. This was an especially important process I followed to recover data going back to 2009 that was important to one of my hobbies. Having email copies and archiving those emails saved the day for this project.
- I am now studying a more effective and efficient backup system that will have redundancy and flexibility. BTW, I also tried iDrive via a 90% off offer, but their cloud backup would have taken just as long. I believe leaving my computer running for days on end trying to backup to the cloud caused, at least in part, my initial hard drive failure. I am not currently using a cloud service.
- What I am now doing is making two backups of all my data and using Time Machine over two hard drives. From time-to-time I bring one of my two backups to a friend’s house to cover me in the event of total disaster. That’s the best I can do and I am happy with it.
- I have learned of a good service for helping resolve my technology issues which thankfully have been few and far between.
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©Jeffrey B. Ross – 2017